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International Women's Day 2020: An Interview with Jamie Costello

Posted on March 2020

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What role can recruitment play in creating a gender-balanced workforce throughout the financial services industry? Jamie Costello, VP - Preferred Partnership Program for Selby Jennings, shares her thoughts for International Women's Day 2020.

The 2020 International Women’s Day theme is that an equal world is an enabled world. What does that mean to you and in the financial services?

Equal and Enabled means being empowered. Its the opportunity to feel as though the work we are doing is making a difference, taken seriously, and that those around us value the effort put in. Women's equality inside and outside of the work place gives females a voice and foundation to build on and enable their own success. My clients are mostly in financial services, which is an industry that can be particularly difficult as a predominately male industry, so by striving for equality we are enabling our female peers to be their best.

What sort of conversations around gender equality do you have with clients and candidates in your sector?

Gender Equality is a topic that I often find myself having with clients. Within the Financial Services industry, I often share that we have a focus on Diversity & Inclusion practices which clients gravitate well towards. There is almost always an interest in female candidates across the board and when speaking with Senior Leaders they often try to diversify their teams by gender. Gender equality can be a great topic to open new business and showcase our expertise and ability to recruit niche individuals.

What role can recruiters play in creating an equal world?

The equal pay act has been incredibly effective in combating the gender pay gap and as recruiters, we now have the ability to advise our clients (and candidates) on what a candidate is worth based on work history and not what they have historically made. This is imperative when it comes to promoting equality and have transformed lives because of this. We also have a great opportunity to advise our clients that are invested in diversity on what we are seeing in the market to help promote diversity, and in many instances have helped diversify their workforce by providing strong diverse talent.

What advice would you give to a company trying to create a diverse hiring strategy?

To those trying to create diversity I would give a few pieces of advice. It is important to understand why you're looking for diverse candidates and what they are able to bring to your organization, team culture and the bottom line. It's also crucial to identify diverse talent early in process as competition can be fierce. Creating a diverse hiring strategy is important because it allows the flow of new ideas, different perspectives and insightful backgrounds.

Jamie Costello joined Selby Jennings in June of 2017 as the first member of the Life & Annuities vertical within the Insurance team. She spent two years successfully building out the space before joining PPP in October 2019 to continue her passion for client success and relationship building. For advice on building a diverse hiring strategy, get in touch with the Selby Jennings team.


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Selby Jennings is a leading specialist recruitment agency for banking and financial services. For more than 15 years, we have given clients and candidates peace of mind that the recruitment process is in expert hands. Our continual investment in best-in-class technologies and consultant training enables us to recruit with speed, precision and accuracy. Today, Selby Jennings provides permanent, contract and multi-hire recruitment from our global hubs all over the world.